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Luverne to host Ice Crystal Classic this weekend

LUVERNE -- The Blue Mound Figure Skaters will host nearly 100 female athletes in Luverne this weekend for the 2018 Ice Crystal Classic. The 11th annual event will feature competition Friday evening through Sunday afternoon at the Blue Mound Ice A...

LUVERNE - The Blue Mound Figure Skaters will host nearly 100 female athletes in Luverne this weekend for the 2018 Ice Crystal Classic.

The 11th annual event will feature competition Friday evening through Sunday afternoon at the Blue Mound Ice Arena. The show is free and open to the public.

Competition Director Marian Schneekloth said five skaters will compete for the first time this weekend, including the event’s youngest registrant, a 3-year-old. The contest will feature skaters competing in 130 events, from individual and partner skates to ensembles and team skating. There will be synchronized skating contests, interpretive skate and several spotlight categories, including character, dramatic, couples and family spotlight skating.

“Some of the events will have a lot of skaters in them and some events may have only one skater,” Schneekloth said.

Skaters from six different rinks will take part in the three-day competition. In addition to 32 skaters from the Luverne club, the Ice Crystal Classic will feature 28 members of the Hutchinson Figure Skating Association, six from the National Sports Center at Blaine, six from the SportQuest Skating Academy in Minneapolis, 23 from the Sioux Falls (S.D.) Figure Skating Club and one from the Brookings (S.D.) Figure Skating Club.

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“My goal is to have 100 skaters in the competition and this year we have 96,” Schneekloth said.

In addition to the skaters, 17 coaches will be on hand, several of them doubling as judges for the event, as well as referees. Blue Mound Figure Skaters (BMFS) coaches include Courtney DeBoer, Katie Kopp, Sarah Nuffer, Cathy Shearer and Sabrina Sowles. Assisting them is 2017 BMFS graduate Emma Baker.

“We have lots of parent volunteers,” Schneekloth added, acknowledging the people who run the music, announce, check skaters on the ice, serve as runners, do the recordkeeping and registration and present the awards.

Friday night’s competition begins at 7 p.m., with Saturday’s contest from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The event wraps up Sunday, with competition from 8 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.

From 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, the Eagles Club in Luverne will host a burger feed benefit to raise funds for two skaters in the BMFS club, each of whom has a parent diagnosed with cancer. The cost is a free-will offering, and the public is welcome to attend. Many of the visiting skaters and their families are anticipated to attend.

“The funds will help the skaters continue skating this season,” Schneekloth said, adding that one skater is in her senior year of skating, while the other is a sophomore. Depending on how much is raised, the donations may also cover the private coaching fees for the two skaters.

For a complete skating competition schedule for this weekend, visit http://bit.ly/2D82Awt .

Julie Buntjer became editor of The Globe in July 2021, after working as a beat reporter at the Worthington newspaper since December 2003. She has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism from South Dakota State University.
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